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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. Ohio State concluded the 2008 Big Ten Men’s Gymnastics Championships with four gymnasts earning All-Big Ten status Saturday night in Rec Hall on the campus of Penn State University. Buckeye all-arounders Jake Bateman and Brandon Wynn were tabbed first-team All-Big Ten selections after placing second and sixth, respectively, in the all-around Friday night. Jimmy Wickham and DJ Bucher were named to the second-team after securing second-place finishes on vault and parallel bars, respectively, Saturday. With the honor, Bucher became only the fifth Buckeye in program history to be named to the All-Big Ten squad each of his four years of eligibility. The Mason, Ohio, native also received kudos as Ohio State’s sportsmanship honoree.

At the individual finals, the Big Ten’s top competitors on all six events went head-to-head, vying for the league’s event titles. In total, Ohio State had eight gymnasts advance to the second night of competition.

In the first rotation, senior tri-captain Wickham represented Ohio State on floor. After tallying a meet-high 15.55 in the team competition, the Gulfport, Miss., native scored a 14.9 Saturday night to take fifth. Junior Andy Saurber was the sole Buckeye to enter the pommel horse championships, and with a clean performance, he too finished fifth with a 14.3.

The gymnasts moved on to rings and vault in the second rotation. Seniors David Ortiz and Wickham, along with junior Bateman competed on vault while sophomore Shachar Tal made his bid on rings. Wickham, Ohio State’s leader on vault in 2008, repeated his performance from Friday night, again scoring a 16.4. He finished second to Minnesota’s Mitchell Mays, who had a 16.65. Ortiz had a 15.5 to tie Nittany Lion Casey Sandy for sixth while Bateman tied for ninth with a 15.0. After hitting a season-high 15.1 the previous night, Tal had a 14.45 to take eighth in the rings finals.

In the final rotation, Bucher, the 2007 Big Ten parallel bars champion, was looking to defend his title. Despite scoring a 15.1, his second-highest mark of the season, Bucher took second behind Sandy’s 15.3. Bateman, after scoring a 12.95 on high bar for ninth, bounced back with a 14.75 on parallel bars to tie for fourth. On high bar, Wynn garnered fifth in his first appearance at the league finals, scoring 14.5 while Eddie Hay swung himself into seventh place on apparatus with a 14.3. Saturday night served as the Butler, Pa., native’s second appearance at the Big Ten individual event finals after capturing the floor title in 2007 as a sophomore.

After a bye week, Ohio State flies cross-country to compete at the 66th-annual NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Championships held April 17-19 at Stanford’s Maples Pavilion. Participating teams will be announced on April 8.

2008 Big Ten Championships Awards
April 5, 2008
University Park, Pa.

ALL-BIG TEN FIRST TEAM
Wes Haagensen, Illinois
Daniel Ribeiro, Illinois
Thomas Kelley, Michigan
Mitchell Mays, Minnesota
Jake Bateman, Ohio State
Brandon Wynn, Ohio State
Derek Helsby, Penn State
Tommy Ramos, Penn State
Casey Sandy, Penn State

ALL-BIG TEN SECOND TEAM
Paul Ruggeri, Illinois
Tyler Yamauchi, Illinois
Kit Beikmann, Minnesota
Jimmy Wickham, Ohio State
DJ Bucher, Ohio State

BIG TEN GYMNAST OF THE YEAR
Casey Sandy, Penn State

BIG TEN FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Thomas Kelley, Michigan

BIG TEN COACH OF THE YEAR
Randy Jepson, Penn State

BIG TEN SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD WINNERS
Daniel Ribeiro, Illinois
Reid Urbain, Iowa
Chris Cameron, Michigan
Matt Altomari, Minnesota
DJ Bucher, Ohio State
Santiago Lopez, Penn State